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VUMC Photography Group

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Photography Group — what you need to know

by July 12, 2022

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Photography Group is a team of photojournalists who work in VUMC’s News and Communications office. The photographers work with the editors and writers to provide photographs for VUMC publications such as the VUMC Reporter (online newspaper), VUMC Voice (online employee feature magazine), Vanderbilt Medicine magazine (School of Medicine), Hope magazine (Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt) and Momentum magazine (Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center).

Head shots:

The VUMC Photography Group provides a head shot service for the Medical Center. Each person can schedule his or her own appointment at Head shots are taken in the studio in room C-2207 in Medical Center North on Mondays and Wednesdays. The backdrop is the same for all head shots, so uniformity is assured. Since there are a limited number of scheduling slots available for this service, there is sometimes a wait for an appointment, and the appointments are first come, first served.

Directions to studio:

Medical Center North is located at the north end of the VUMC Plaza. Enter the building on the second (plaza) level at the circular shuttle drop-off and turn right down the “S” corridor. You will pass the “D” and “CC” corridors on the left before coming to the “C” corridor. Turn left on the “C” corridor and the studio is the second door on the left.


The email for the Photography Group is


Donn Jones, senior photographer

Donn joined the Medical Center’s Office of News & Communications in 2020 as a senior photographer. Donn is a Nashville native who started his photo career at The Nashville Banner where he served as both a staff photographer and photo editor. After the Banner closed, he freelanced for about 25 years shooting both editorially and commercially with clients including the Country Music Association, the Associated Press, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and several corporate clients. Twenty of those years, Donn also served as the team photographer for the Tennessee Titans.

Erin O. Smith, photographer

Erin Smith joined the Medical Center’s Office of News & Communications in early 2020 as a photographer, contributing to News & Communications publications, various VUMC websites and publications, as well as external media platforms when photos are requested from the Medical Center. Before joining VUMC, she worked as a staff photographer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Chattanooga, Tenn., and The Times in Gainesville, Ga. Smith is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in Spanish.

Susan Urmy, senior photographer

Born in New York and raised in Nashville, Susan first came to Vanderbilt as a photographer in 2008. She received her formal training at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the New England School of Photography both in Boston. Susan has studied and worked with professional photographers in New England, California and the South, and has experience in photojournalism, advertisement and documentary work. Susan’s work has appeared in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Rolling Stone.

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